How to Say It: La-cree-mahl duct sten-oh-sis
Lacrimal duct stenosis is a narrowing of a tear duct (lacrimal duct). It can happen in children and adults. This fact sheet will focus on lacrimal duct stenosis in infants.
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This problem happens in some babies when the tear duct does not form as it should. A thin membrane may cover the opening of the duct into the nose.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your baby’s symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. Your baby may need to see an eye specialist.
The tear duct will be checked for blockages. This can be done with a dye disappearance test. This can confirm the diagnosis.
This problem often goes away in the first year of life. If it does not, the goal of treatment is to open the tear duct. They may be done with:
There are no known methods to prevent this health problem.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
National Eye Institute
Canadian Ophthalmology Society
Caring for Kids—Canadian Pediatric Society
Nasolacrimal duct obstruction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nasolacrimal-duct-obstruction-15. Accessed August 19, 2021.
Surgery for tear duct blockage. Kid's Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at:
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Accessed August 19, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD